Have UEFA opened up a diving can of worms?
The governing body’s U-turn could encourage more simulation
Following an appeal by Arsenal, UEFA have back-tracked on their controversial Eduardo ruling, deciding there was not enough evidence to prove simulation. The Arsenal forward – who has insisted he felt contact from extraordinarily aggressive Celtic keeper Artur Boruc on his left foot and “lost balance” – is now free to face Standard Liege in the Champions league tomorrow night.
Some have argued that UEFA caved in because of the far-reaching implications of the ban: Professor Wenger would have lovingly compiled evidence of every single other perceived dive in European competitions, and would have called for similar bans for the rest of eternity. A dangerous precedent for a crime that isn’t always clear cut.
UEFA’s attempt to contain the situation, however, may actually have had the opposite effect. Not only have they undermined their own authority by favouring Arsenal’s appeal, but they have effectively given professional players carte blanche to throw themselves around without concern for punishment. The Telegraph’s Henry Winter makes a point to this effect on Twitter:
Starting tonight, players know they can dive because refs will be too scared to punish them following UEFA’s crazy U-turn on Eduardo.
Where UEFA right to turn over the ban, or have they, as we suspect, opened a big ol’ can of worms. Let us know your thoughts below…